Small Landlords Sue Attorney General Over NY Eviction Ban

Five small landlords have sued New York Attorney General Letitia James. Attorneys for the group are arguing that the hardship declaration form is “unconstitutional compelled speech,” because it forces landlords to, in effect, voice support for a policy that is “squarely adverse” to their interests. The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 was signed into law by the governor on Dec. 28, 2020.
April 05, 2021 — The Habitat Group

Court Orders Tenant to Wear Mask

A tenant who flouts building rules and disregards the city’s mask mandate is likely to spark complaints from neighbors and staff members who are concerned about their health. The eviction moratorium doesn’t mean a landlord can’t take the matter to court. Consider the recent case of a Brooklyn landlord who sought injunctive relief and a temporary restraining order against a tenant based upon nuisance conduct that created health and safety risks affecting other occupants of the building.
April 05, 2021 — The Habitat Group

Should You Require Employees to Get Vaccinated?

As COVID-19 vaccines start to become available to the general public, can employers now order mandatory vaccinations of their employees? The answer is not so simple. Landlords, cooperatives, and condominiums should be aware of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance issued last month on this topic. Whether an employer chooses to enact a mandatory vaccination policy or merely encourages its employees to get inoculated, many complex legal and personnel issues will arise.
April 05, 2021 — The Habitat Group

Must You Inspect for Lead Paint When There’s No Child or Peeling Paint in Apartment?

Under the new lead legislation, if an apartment is presumed to have lead, but there is no peeling paint and no child living in the apartment, do you have to have it inspected? If lead is found, what do you have to do?
November 20, 2020 — The Habitat Group

Court Affirms Tenants’ Choice of Forum for Rent Overcharge Claims

In a second decision concerning rent overcharge issued on April 2, 2020, New York’s highest court ruled that rent-stabilized tenants were entitled to bring overcharge claims against building owners either before the NY State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) or before a court.
April 21, 2020 — The Habitat Group

Court Strikes HSTPA's Retroactive Application in Overcharge Cases

On April 2, 2020, New York’s highest court issued an important set of decisions in four consolidated cases concerning rent overcharge of rent-stabilized tenants. Here, in Regina Metropolitan Co., LLC v. DHCR et seq., the Court of Appeals had been asked to decide the proper method for calculating the recoverable rent overcharge for NYC apartments that were improperly removed from rent stabilization during receipt of J-51 tax benefits. This issue had come up repeatedly since the Court’s 2009 Roberts v. Tishman Speyer Properties ruling. In many cases following Roberts, the DHCR and court decisions had been both conflicting and confusing as to how overcharges should be calculated. And, by the time the four cases in question reached the Court of Appeals, additional questions were presented concerning the effect of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) on any further rulings.

Demolition: One of the Last Ways to Deregulate a Building

With the June 2019 passage of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA), owners are desperately seeking ways out of rent regulation in an attempt to recapture the profitability their buildings previously had. Two such exit strategies are “substantial rehabilitation,” available only to deteriorated buildings, and “demolition,” generally available to rent-stabilized buildings regardless of their condition.
April 07, 2020 — The Habitat Group

Complying with Paid Leave Law During COVID Outbreak: Federal Law

As we continue to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, both our work and social lives remain on a pause. Given the rate of increase in infections, New York State extended the shelter-in-place policy for nonessential workers to April 15, 2020. Last week, I provided an update on the recent New York State sick leave laws, along with a reminder of an employee’s rights under New York City law. Landlords, management companies, and property owners must also adhere to the newly enacted federal laws regarding paid and unpaid sick leave that become effective on April 1, 2020, and are set to expire on Jan. 1, 2021.

Providing Paid Leave During COVID Outbreak: NY Law

The alarming rise and spread of COVID-19 will continue to impact our lives in new and troubling ways for the foreseeable future. Social distancing and a shelter-in-place policy requiring non-essential employees to work from home affects every single New Yorker. Given that we are in the middle of a pandemic with no end date, landlords, management companies, and property owners need to know or be refreshed on what rights under New York State and New York City laws their employees can exercise in terms of sick leave.
April 01, 2020 — The Habitat Group